Do you think about your breathing? It is estimated that the average person only uses about half of their breathing capacity. Babies and children are natural deep breathers - breathing with their entire lungs and from deep down in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle found between the chest and the abdomen. Most adults lose this ability, becoming shallow breathers. We don't ALLOW our breathing to occur smoothly and naturally. STRESS causes breathing to become more shallow and rapid. A few nice deep breaths can be so relaxing. When you are less stressed, you will handle things more smoothly. You can train your body to improve its breathing technique. With regular practice, you may breathe from your abdomen most of the time, even while asleep. Using and learning proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health.
- Lie or sit in a comfortable position.
- Place one hand on your chest - another on your abdomen, just above your belly button. This will help you get used to the action of your breaths. The hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on your chest.
- Exhale through your mouth first, then begin taking in a slow, deep breath through your nose. Imagine you are sucking in all of the air in the room. Do this SLOWLY, inhaling for 3-5 seconds.
- Gently contract your abdominal muscles to help you force the air out of your lungs and belly and exhale through your nose slowly.
- Begin again, inhaling FULLY and exhaling COMPLETELY - find a rhythm that is smooth.
- During the exhale, you can think of releasing stress, tension or anger - LETTING GO.
If practiced over time, you may find improved energy throughout the day!